BELGRADE – Thousands protest as Serbia reimposes COVID-19 curfew

In response to the newly announced COVID-19 measures, a group of opposition supporters stormed the Serbian parliament building in Belgrade on Tuesday (7 July) in a protest against a lockdown planned for the capital this weekend to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

A few thousand protesters had gathered in front of the Serbian parliament building in Belgrade, protesting the new measures President Vučić announced, including a curfew from Monday to Friday.

Although most protesters had gathered peacefully and spontaneously thanks to social media and were seen protesting alongside some leaders of the opposition coalition Alliance for Serbia, there were, however, some altercations with the police. 

By 10 pm, several protested had managed to enter the parliament and before police managed to surround and secure the building, there was even a brief skirmish between protesters and the police.

According to first reports, however, there were no injuries and no massive police presence.

However, shortly before 11 pm, there were new skirmishes as police used pepper spray to disperse the demonstrators.  

A group of younger men, standing on the stairs of the building, repeatedly called on protesters to push through the police cordon, while protesters were shouting “resign”, “Serbia has arisen” and “Kosovo is Serbia”, as well as singing the Serbian national anthem.

At 11:30 pm police heavily used pepper spray against the protesters, who retreated from the parliament compound to the surrounding streets. (Vladimir Tintor | EURACTIV.rs)

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